It is,

by Teja Dupree

Like being shot,
in the back, and pulling the arrow out
of your front or
being grabbed from behind

and having your eyes
 pried open
to watch flame devour

the most beautiful

rose. Seeing it drift

to the ground in wilts

and, not long after, realizing

that was your sole soul,
but only, once the emptiness

inside you,
overtakes you. 

It is being thrown into a hole
and looking up

and glaring at the light

and desiring it

but at the same time not;

you wish to stay there

because it is warm
(oh, so warm),
and more comfortable
than you think
you could ever be (again):
That moon,
and its tides
are warmer than the sun.
That darkness
is warmer than the light.

It is knowing
that your heart, lacerated,
no longer seeks
but finds completeness
in itself and in its burrows.
It thinks it nice
without the mending,
the metal braces around it like a cage,
and nice
will suffice
as long as it possibly can. 

It is having an anaconda
slide its body down your throat
and wind itself around
the cracks of your rib cage,
swim in the waters of your lungs,
and consume your heart
because nothing else
seemed to its liking.
(Not the smiling moon,
or the mushroom clouds,
but your living and beating
is all- everything it wants.)

And people say
it is like drowning
and watching everyone else
but it is not.
It is red
and it is heart wrenching
and fist punching until your hand bleeds
and yelling at the top of your lungs
and crying rivers from your eyes
that you would hope to freeze
in this bitter cold
but they do not
and they just keep running
and drying
and reforming
and running again
like something,
something in the universe,
which you cannot seem to identify,
something is playing with you
like a faucet,
turning you on and off,
and you cannot stop it.

It is drowning
in an ocean, ablaze,
and watching everyone else
breathe in their stardust and planetary matter;
You are dying
and they are thriving

and all in the same universe.


Author Biography: Teja Dupree is a senior at Woodbridge Senior High
School where she participates in the Creative Writing program. She has won
both a Gold and two Silver Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards as
well as numerous other awards for her writing.

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